In February of 2012, the Los Angeles Kings made a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets that saw them add forward Jeff Carter, who would go on to score eight goals and add five assists en route to a Stanley Cup championship.
The Kings are no doubt hoping that another deal with the Blue Jackets will work out similarly, and as the team gets set to open their 2014 playoff run against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, the addition of Marian Gaborik appears to be working out quite well.
In 19 games with the Kings, Gaborik scored five goals and added 11 assists, and has meshed well with new linemates Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, a trio that combined for 30 points over the team's last 10 games.
According to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, Gaborik produced a 61.4% Corsi percentage over the course of the last seven games of the regular season, recording 22 shots on goal of his own during that span.
“We still have to tune some things up, but I think it was progress,” Gaborik said of the trio's success to date. “Got to know the guys a little bit on the ice and off the ice and obviously get some chemistry in our line from the start. I think it was progressing each and every game and we’re ready to go to playoffs.”
The Kings enter the playoffs having gone 3-1-1 in their last five games, and, as per Gaborik, appear to have developed a healthy balance between confidence and perspective.
I think that everybody believes and everybody is confident that we have a good team. That we’re going to be ready. We can do some damage. I think everybody is focusing on that first game. Take it a game at a time and just go from there. Mainly, I think there is a good vibe around the room and confidence and the right mindset.
For his career, Gaborik has recorded 18 goals and 14 assists in 54 playoff games with the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers, and twice has gone as far as the conference finals.
Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea